Experiential Marketing: What is it?
They are programs that allow consumers to become active participants in a marketing effort. Well planned and executed experiential marketing programs can be very memorable and relevant and can result in a positive change in consumer behavior (such as making a purchase) and attitudes (such as changing brand preference).
Experiential Marketing played a big part in the promotion of the new touring show of Cirque Du Soleil OVO under the Big Top near the Mall of America. Fortunately I was able to participate in both the show and the Toddler Tuesday event where I observed young children and their parents learn how the performers prepare for a grand show.
Watching the little ones dance like no one was watching, picking out the design for a swoosh of color on their cheeks and a tickle of the brush on their nose was fun. They are so carefree and giddy with excitement hoping to look like the bugs on the stage. With OVO being a new show teeming with insects while people buzz about the high energy acrobatics that are performed by amazing artists I can’t help but wonder what impact we could have on our own businesses if we studied this performance.
I was in awe with the differences of what goes on behind the scenes verses what we see on the stage. Each costume takes up to 80 hours to complete, the performers work 6 days a week with 8 performances and everyone works together for one common goal. To put on an amazing show that will create memories for years to come.
The preparation, details, dedication and belief within the walls of the Big Top are lessons to be learned for every business owner.
Take a moment to ask yourself these questions about Experiential Marketing in your business:
Do my customers experience my products or services so they tell all of their friends? I certainly bragged about how OVO was incredible and that people show do what they can to go and see a live performance.
Did I WOW my audience with quality work? The costumes take up to 80 hours each to create. They were definitely amazing to look at.
Have I planned and prepared my presentations so that they go on without a glitch? The OVO performers are constantly practicing, tweaking and making sure they are in tip-top shape for the evenings performance.
Do I have the right team in place to help my business run like a well oiled machine? OVO’s team included people selling tickets, food station managers, ushers, technicians for lighting and safety, musicians, and more.
What I love about experiential marketing is the fact that you are engaged with the brand and become one of the best advertising channels for the company. Wouldn’t you rather have word of mouth referrals instead of paying for ads that may not capture the feeling and emotions like your neighbor can?
Do yourself a favor and go to the show. Not just for the entertainment but to watch how people are engaged and energized while at the show. Listen and you will hear the words and phrases like “incredible”, “amazing”, “talented”, “beautiful”, “they must practice all day long”, “I can’t wait to tell my friend”, etc.
Do you have the WOW factor in your business? Watch a short clip from the show now:
My friend Andy Horner, chief development officer at Ace of Sales, put this video together for you. He is brilliant at creating salesmakers that help sales people make a sale. Watch this and then leave your comments on this blog post or at the Ace of Sales Facebook fan page.
It was bound to happen. We live in a society that judges people based on their appearance, their age, and material possessions – did you really expect Twitter to be any different? True, there are more than a few users who will judge your Twitter status or efficacy strictly by the number of followers you have. They tend to collect followers like baseball cards, and fancy to count themselves among the Twitter elite. Well, that's all well and good, I suppose – but more isn't always better.
The Pulpit, or the Parlor from a purely logistical perspective, how many genuine connections do you think you can cultivate, nurture and maintain – without spending every waking moment feverishly typing 140-character pleasantries? I don't know about you, but the notion of trying to keep tabs on twenty thousand of my closest BFF's sounds more than a bit daunting. In fact, it sounds downright impossible. Even as I say this, there are sure to be some Twitter users who would vehemently disagree. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
For my part, I prefer to interact in a parlor, as opposed to a pulpit-style atmosphere on Twitter – and in order to do that, you can't focus on developing a congregation. Instead, you focus on developing a camaraderie. This mindset will likely prevent you from ascending to the elite Twitterati status, but it won't prevent you from being successful.
The most important things to remember about Twitter are:
* Be yourself. Mama said it best, and she was right.
* Be engaging. Offer insights, ask questions, and join the conversation.
* Be helpful. Retweet posts from others. Your followers will appreciate it, and so will the original poster.
* Avoid the pushy sales pitch. Folks buy from those they know, like and trust.
* Be grateful. Thank those who help you, and those who offer value to you.
* Recognize other Twitter users, and recommend them whenever you can.
* Remember the 80/20 rule – 80% of your business will come from 20% of your customers/prospects. Of course, this isn't to say that those folks with tens of thousands of followers aren't successful (just look at Barack Obama) – but it is a safe bet that the dialogue between user and follower is dramatically different.
Like anything else, your mileage may vary. At the end of the day, the most important thing to remember is that Twitter is a tool, and the manner in which you use it will determine your overall success.
You are in a room full of people and across the way you see someone who is naturally friendly and has the gift to gab or even better, the gift of making friends. We call them a people-person, someone unbelievably nice and charismatic that they can charm anyone into doing anything.
A socially-empowered person achieves greatness because of the people he surrounds himself with. He earns the trust and all-out support of the people whom he helped before. He can do anything with the plethora of people behind him. All because he knows how to maximize his social potential with self-empowerment!
Self-empowerment is making a general overhaul in your life and turning yourself into a happier and more successful person. Here are a few tips on how to make it happen:
1. Be genuine.
Hypocrisy will just bring you all the way down. Be genuinely nice and interested to people. Once they perceive that you are Mr. Hypocrite with selfish intentions, you might as well say goodbye to self-empowerment.
2. Be the greatest listener that you can be.
To earn the love and trust of the people, listen to their problems and sympathize with them. Do not just hear them out, listen to them with your heart. Make eye contact when the person talks to you. Listen as if every word matters and it does. Brownie points when they find out that there is a confidante in you.
3. Laugh out loud.
I do not mean that you force yourself to laugh for every joke cracked by someone, albeit you do not find it funny at all. This means finding humor in things and not being too darn serious. A person oozing with an awesome sense of humor attracts crowds and eventually, attracts success.
4. Don’t forget yourself.
In the process of fluttering around like a social butterfly, you might forget yourself, allowing everyone to push you over. Remember, love and value yourself before anyone else. If you deem yourself respectable and worthy of affection, people will flock to you and not trample on you.
5. Do random acts of kindness.
You don’t have to do a John Rockefeller and blow your savings to charity. Little acts of kindness matters the most and this can be as simple as giving someone a surprise you-take-care card or helping an elderly cross the street. When we were kindergarten students, kindness was taught to us and greatly practiced. Now is the time to revive the good deeds and this time, let them stay for good.
6. Contact your old friends.
Sad how some friendships are destined to goodbye, but thanks to technology, you can do something about it. Relive the good old days by flipping your yearbook and look for the great people whom you want to communicate with again. Adding these old friends to your roster of support peers will surely make you feel good all over.
7. Develop your personality.
Are you grouchy, grumpy and generally morose? Whoa, you can’t go through life with those. Get rid of the bad traits and habits that perpetually hamper your growth. And really, who wants a grouchy friend anyway?
8. Be confident.
Be able to stride to the other corner of the room and introduce yourself to people with that winning smile of yours. Just remember: be confident, not arrogant.
9. Practice control.
When angry, don’t snap at anyone. Never throw a tantrum. Stay calm and collected. Be adult enough to take control of situation and transform your anger into something more productive and passive. As soon as people think your anger goes to volcanic proportions easily, they will find it hard to come to you.
10. Keep nurturing your relationships.
Your relationship with your family, friends and significant others is too precious that you must not neglect it whatever happens. Go out and have fun with them. Do things together. Happiness will never fly from your side as long as the people who matter the most are close to you.
In the end, using people for self-empowerment means becoming a better and more lovable person. It’s a win-win situation: the people know they can turn to you anytime and vice versa.
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Today, saving money is not just for those on a modest income. Coupon clipping and consignment shops are becoming almost chic. Of course, people who have achieved financial security have always known the importance of being frugal.
Consumers today are so motivated to save money that they spend hours searching for the best deals and clipping coupons. Discount retailers like Sam’s Club and Costco have attracted millions of customers who are willing to pay annual fees for the opportunity to save money. Perhaps you have purchased one of those entertainment coupon books or belong to the Diner’s Club.
However, if you are like me, when you get ready to make a purchase, coupons don’t do you any good because you either forget to bring them along, or, you drag them around for so long that they expire. Or, the entertainment coupon book you bought is so heavy that you usually don’t have it with you when you need it. Buying in large quantities from discount clubs is pointless because I don’t have the room to store things like five gallon jugs of shampoo, 10 boxes of cereal or 100 roll packs of toilet paper. Besides, coupons are not even available for certain items that I might like to purchase.
So, what do I do to save money? I use the MainStreetChamber VIP Membership Card. It saves me money on everything from prescription drugs and insurance to office supplies and restaurants. Plus, it fits in my wallet and never, ever expires. With the VIP card I save money on products and services from hundreds of national retailers including Wal-Mart, Macys, FedEx, UPS, Office Depot, Costal Contacts, PetSmart, Comp USA, Footlocker, Tiger Direct, CDW, Wyndham Hotels, Days Inn, Hertz rental car, 1-800-Flowers.com and thousands of local businesses.
Each month, thousands of local businesses are joining MainStreetChamber and offering discounts to VIP Card holders. This means that besides national retailers, you can save money on products and services you purchase from local businesses. Whether you need accounting services, tax preparation, legal services, website design, help with marketing strategies, a unique gift for that special person, (think of some more), chances are, you can find a source near you at a very special VIP price. As our Chamber grows, new offers are added every day. Therefore your VIP Card becomes more valuable every day!
Do you see why I use the VIP Membership card? Did I mention that it never expires and there are no renewal fees. How cool is that? Of course, a card that never expires and will save you thousands or tens of thousands of dollars over your lifetime, can’t be cheap. You would expect to pay at least hundreds of dollars for such a valuable card. But, you can purchase the VIP Membership card during our launch for the low price of just $39.99!
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Generating leads is something that people have been doing for years, and although the playing field may have changed as a result of the Internet, the effectiveness of gathering those leads has not changed at all. Here are 7 different ways that you can use the Internet in order to gather these leads through new marketing strategies.
One of the first things that you should do is always to make sure that you’re including a capture form on your website. Make sure that it is highly visible, and that it is above the fold (viewable without scrolling)
A second tactic that you can do is to give away something that is related to your business in exchange for an email address and other contact information. This is best done through a squeeze page, where there are no other exit points other than to sign up for what you’re offering, or to back out of the page.
Email campaigns are an excellent way to stay in touch, and they can be sent out to the masses rather easily. Always make sure to personalize the email when possible, and to ask for a referral. There are many people that will refer your website, simply because you asked.
Don’t forget about search engine optimization, optimizing your website in order to rank for specific keywords or keyword phrases that are related to your niche. When done properly, this can send a flood of warm visitors to your website that are all but sitting there with their credit card in hand.
There are many people that regularly follow blogs, and you may be able to pull traffic into your website by commenting on blogs that are related to your niche. One thing that you may want to do, is to download an RSS feed aggregator so that you know whenever a new post goes on to one of these blogs. Being the first person to post a thoughtful comment will get you the most traffic.
Advertise your lead capture URL in any way that you possibly can, either off-line or online. Buy a bumper sticker, put signs in your yard, hand out business cards or whatever else it may take in order to get people to visit your website and to give you their contact information.
Finally, you may want to try the direct approach and simply ask people that may be interested in what you have to offer to go to your webpage and enter their contact information. It may sound simplistic, but it works very well.
Ideas for capturing new leads and converting prospects into customers
As an expert in your field, you’ve got a ton of really important information in your
head. But you’ve got to get it out of your head and into some useful format for
lead generation. Information is the heart and soul of marketing, so you’ve got
to have some idea about the products you want to develop as part of your
overall strategy. Let’s talk about the top five.
1. White Papers
“White paper” is the corporate, fancy-pants term for an online article. A white paper
usually ranges from two to three pages and stands alone as an item customers or
prospects can download. White papers work great as a lead generation tool when
you ask prospects to provide their email address in exchange for your
2. Free Reports
A free report is like a white paper, just a bit bigger. From a lead generation
standpoint, it holds more value than a white paper and is usually several pages
long. Free reports are great products to use as an add-on to online purchases.
“Buy Product X and receive three Free Reports!” You can also use them like
white papers and offer them as free downloads in exchange for contact
E-books are the killer product that can create a lead generation bonanza! Like a real book, an e-book is going to be long…at least 50 pages. The fact that it’s a real book makes the perceived value huge. If the copy inviting prospects to download your e-book is well-written and compelling, you can generate several thousand new
leads from this one lead generation tool alone.
4. Audio Reports
An audio report helps prospects get a feel for what you and your company are all about. It’s a way for prospects to talk to you about doing business without really
taking to you. Using audio reports as part of your campaign can boost brand
loyalty and help you prospects commit to a sale. If you are well known in your
industry – or if you can hire someone who is – you have the power to generate a
LOT of leads using audio reports.
No joke. Webinars can drive an endless stream of customers to your business. Like audio reports, they give customers a feed for your company. But webinars go way beyond teaser information. The power-punch of the webinar is that it lets you cover the entire sales pitch AND close the deal. Another bonus is that webinars can be recorded. That lets you leverage your time by making the pitch once and then playing the presentation again and again for new groups of prospects. Talk
about a time saver!
How Does It Work?
Here’s the way it works, in a nutshell.
- Develop information products.
- Make the available on your site in exchange for contact information.
- Send out an announcement to your email list that also creates a sense of urgency.
- Put tools in place to track downloads and capture new leads.
- Follow-up with leads to convert them into customers.
You’ve got your very own lead-generation machine!
To check out some real lead generation products, download a free
report about Email Marketing 2.0.
It’s spring and you’re heading to the pool for the first time of the season. It’s finally warm out. No, it’s downright hot! All you can think about is getting cool in the pool! You know it will be refreshing, you will be with friends or family that you have been looking forward to spending time with and you may even lose that glow in the dark look that you’ve been sporting all winter! You’re ready to get in, but before you do, you test the waters with your toe… IT’S FREEZING. You know that you want to get in, but you can’t just “jump in” like everyone is hollering out to you. So you go back on the deck to psych yourself up!
To a lot of people networking is just like getting into that pool for the first time. It’s too cold and instead of just jumping in, they retreat for another time or until they are ready.
So what can a person do to ease into networking? Three things will help:
1. Think positive– If you think the pool is too cold, it will be. If you think the event will be intimidating, it will be. Tell yourself how great it will be and how good it will feel to have the sense of accomplishment! Just like you psych yourself to get into the pool, you can psych yourself for the event!
2. Dress for success– There are certain items of clothing that are suitable for swimming. It would be challenging to go for a dip if you were wearing a snowmobile suit. It could actually hinder your progress and weigh you down and you could even drown. If you are wearing something inappropriate for networking, you can also take a dive. Dressing according to your business is always a good idea, but many find it helpful to dress it up a notch. They find that little extra, gives them confidence, not to mention an edge over their competition. Also, don’t forget your smile. The most important accessory you could put on!
3. Be prepared– To swim in a pool, you need to have the water ready. To network at an event, you need to have your words ready. Practice what to say when someone asks you what you do. Memorize a phrase or two that will just roll off your tongue. Once you are comfortable and a person is truly interested in what you do, you will find it easy to speak from the heart. You will also find it helpful to have business cards and your calendar along!
By practicing these tips and making them your own, it will become easier to attend a function, just like easing into the pool a little at a time. However, you may find you reach a certain level of comfort that you decide to just go all the way in. Whether you become numb to the effects of your mind or just reach a level of comfort, the result will be refreshing and satisfying and you may even build some relationships and get some business!
The Workroom at Tara’s – I’ve had the entrepreneurial spirit since I was 6 when I started my first business. My methods have changed but my enthusiasm has remained child like. However being a person who felt easily intimidated and shy I was hindered. I have been the recipiant of so much assistance and belief from others and I want to give back. This blog is my story, my ups and downs and lessons learned not just by me, but also others who have felt the same. If I can give to one person what others have given me, then I have succeeded.
1. Follow-up – Once your customer buys from you be sure to send a “thank you” via a custom branded email or handwritten postcard. Follow up with that customer on a regular basis to stay in front of them so that when they are ready to buy again they will remember you first.
2. Upsell – For the online marketers it’s a nice enhancement to your shopping cart when you offer the customer a complimentary product or add-ons to the product they selected. Show them the value of purchasing the additional item and they will order. A great example of an upsell provider is Amazon.com.
3. Online referrals – Give a bonus to the customers that use your Tell-A-Friend service that allows the customer to enter the names and email addresses of their friends. The bonus might be an eBook, a rebate on the order or a discount on their next order.
4. Affiliate Programs – When you sell a product, give your customers the option of joining an affiliate program so they can make commissions selling your product. This will multiply the sale you just made.
5. Sell the reprint/reproduction rights to your products – Let’s say you write an eBook where the content offers great value. Rather than keep it to yourself make sales by offering the reproduction rights to users who want to publish it for you.
6. Cross Promotion – Include an ad or flyer for other products you sell and ask other businesses to include that flyer for you as well. Pizza shops are great at including business flyers for multiple businesses.
7. Product Shipment – Include a coupon for other related products or a discount on your next order. Tell them to hang it near their computer so they remember to use it then send out a followup email reminder a short time after their initial order.
8. Send your customers a catalog – For people who order online the have friends that don’t. Send them a catalog reminding them of new specials and to pass it along to someone who they think would enjoy it.
9. Gift Certificates – Gift certificates are an excellent resource for additional orders. Your customers could purchase them online or direct from you for future purchases or services.
10. Include free products – People love free stuff. The freebies should have your brand/logo, website address and phone number on them. It could be bumper stickers, ball caps, t-shirts, ebooks, etc.
My favorite tool for helping increase sales and stay connected with my customers is the Ace of Sales system. You can try it out for free with promo code: SALINE30. When you set up a free account send me your first branded email so you can see the power of how it would work in your business. Send it to Lisa (at) Lisa Saline (dot) com.